Aaron White's competitive streak stands out in Prime Time

BY KYLE HUGHES | JULY 21, 2011 7:20 AM

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Aaron White is easy to spot in a crowd, but where he really stands out is the basketball court.

The 6-8 redhead from Strongsville, Ohio, has made himself one of the main attractions in North Liberty this summer. He is the leading scorer among incoming Iowa freshmen in the Prime Time League, averaging 18 points per game.

White has joined Melsahn Basabe and Matt Gatens to form a potent trio that has rumbled through the playoffs. The team won both its playoff games by double-digit margins, and it will play for the championship on July 24.

White has shown an ability to score in a multitude of ways — floaters, jumpers, hooks, 3-pointers, and dunks are all part of his repertoire. His arsenal of offense has made him able to play several positions, and he said he has played every position in Prime Time except point guard.

He said he believes his versatility played a large role in his recruitment by Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery, and he said so far, their relationship has been a match made in heaven.

"I really love the coaching staff," White said. "I love Coach McCaffery's style [and] I love his confidence. Then, when I visited [the Iowa campus], it just felt like home."

Hawkeye fans are a big reason White has felt so at home in Iowa City.

"Everywhere I go, whether it's out to eat or walking around downtown, [I hear], 'Thanks for being a Hawkeye,' " he said. "The fan base has been amazing."

Gatens has taken White under his wing, and he said the fans should be excited about having White on the team.

"I'm expecting a lot of things out of him, and I think Hawkeye fans should look forward to a big four years out of him," Gatens said.

White isn't a finished product, though. His Prime Time coach, Ron Nove, said White needs to build strength. Nove also said, though, that he was surprised by the forward's quickness and thinks White can be a big help to the Hawkeyes this season.

Iowa fans had similar concerns about Basabe's strength last season, and the Iowa star said he is looking forward to practicing with White.

"He has a lot of talent, so once he gets that killer [instinct] in him or gets a little more physical, it's going to be nothing but destruction," Basabe said. "I see it in him already."

White said being with a pair of Hawkeyes in Prime Time has been a lot of fun and a bonding experience, and Gatens and Basabe agreed.

"I love him off the court," Basabe said. "He's a real cool kid."

When he isn't playing basketball, White said, he enjoys watching movies on his laptop and playing video games with his teammates and friends — but he said he is very competitive and hates to lose, which could be bad news if Basabe decides to pick up a controller.

"I don't play video games anymore," said Basabe, who has a notable competitive streak himself. "If I get on them though, I'll play for a little while [and] probably get better than [White], and I'll spank him then."

White said he talks a lot of trash when he plays the recently released NCAA Football 12 and said he is loyal to one team.

"I've been playing with the Hawkeyes," White said. "I always play with Iowa."

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